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Middle Good; Beginning and End Need Work
In this novel, I had a hard time liking Sir Roark at the beginning. I didn’t like the way he treated Lady Alyss with such a heavy hand when he was the one who was lying to her to get her castle and land. Through the middle portion of the book, I thought he became a better character as he grew and learned that the true treasure he had lied to get was actually Lady Alyss. I did like Lady Alyss’s character, though I thought she was a bit stupid at times. She often acted without thinking, putting herself in danger more often than I think a woman would have in those times. At the beginning of the story, in one of the first chapters, the author takes Lady Alyss right to the point of nearly killing a man as the chapter cliffhanger, and I was sorely disappointed that the author did not bring us back to that point when Lady Alyss’s perspective resumes. Rather, her story started up again some weeks later; as a reader who had seen the terror of the moment, I think the author owed us the end of that scene!
I thought that the beginning and the end of this story were weak, the beginning for what I mentioned with both Sir Roark and Lady Alyss. The ending had a series of surprises that came one after the other in rapid succession, and I think everything wrapped up too quickly. So much happened in so little time that it didn’t seem or feel realistic. More time was needed to fully explore the many facets of the end.